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Kenneth Anger, “Scorpio Rising” (1964) (via Facebook)

LOS ANGELES — This week, the Hammer Museum launches 100 days of film and performance, The Box opens a career-spanning show of work by legendary feminist LA artist Barbara T. Smith, Mexico City-based artist Abraham Cruzvillegas brings cars and cacti to Regen Projects, and more.

 In Real Life: 100 Days of Film and Performance

When: Tuesday, September 13, 2016–Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles)

Today, the Hammer Museum kicks off In Real Life, a four month-long performance and film festival that will take place in its courtyard, annex, and theater. Alongside four film and video programs, the festival will feature rehearsals, works-in-progress, and new projects across a range of disciplines from dance to music to comedy. Participating artists include Gabie Strong, Dynasty Handbag, Dan Levenson, Mutant Salon, Lara Schnitger, Simone Leigh, and many more.

Trajal Harrell, “Judson Church Is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure) / Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church” (via

 John Altoon

When: Opens Friday, September 16, 6–8pm
Where: Kohn Gallery (1227 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Although John Altoon was a major figure in the scene surrounding influential Ferus Gallery in the 1960s, he was always a bit of an oddball, whose gestural, surrealist-inspired works didn’t quite fit in with the space-age minimalism of Larry Bell and Robert Irwin, or Ed Ruscha’s cool, text-based conceptualism. In the decades since Altoon’s untimely death in 1969, however, generations of LA artists have been influenced by his lyrical abstractions and abject eroticism, including Paul McCarthy who dubbed him “one of the most important LA artists – flat out.” Kohn Gallery’s upcoming exhibition features never-before-seen drawings and paintings by Altoon, providing a welcome follow-up to LACMA’s 2014 retrospective. 

John Altoon, “Untitled (ABS-52)” (1965), airbrush, pastel and ink on board, 30 x 40 inches (via

 Barbara T. Smith: Words, Sentences & Signs

Barbara T. Smith, “Hole in the Sea” (1965), craypas and pencil on chipboard, 6 x 4 inches (via

When: Opens Saturday, September 17, 5–8pm
Where: The Box (805 Traction Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Barbara T. Smith is one the seminal figures of feminist art, with a career spanning over 50 years. Her fourth exhibition with The Box, Words, Sentences & Signs, features work from the early 1960s through 2016. Although Smith has worked across a range of media, including performance, photography, and printed books, this show focuses on her use of language, and how communication and conversation function in her practice. One work from 1985 for instance, “He Says, She Says,” succinctly explores how gender manifests itself in conversation.

THINGS: a queer legacy of graphic art and play

When: Opens Saturday, September 17, 7–9:30pm
Where: Plummer Park, Long Hall (1200 North Vista Street, West Hollywood, California)

Organized by the One Archives, Things presents objects created by artists who primarily work in time-based media, such as film, performance, even journalism, that capture “the quiet radicality of their activist origins.” The exhibition connects work from an earlier generation of artists including comics by filmmaker Curt McDowell and music journalist Robert Ford’s black culture zine, to personal and craft-based works made by contemporary artists Seth Bogart, Rafa Esparza, Aimee Goguen, and Brontez Purnell.

Aimee Goguen, “Face Hat” (2010), gummy bears, balloons, crayon, acrylic, neon foam, plaster, plastic latex, sticks (via

Abraham Cruzvillegas: Autoconcanción

When: Opens Saturday, September 17, 6–8pm
Where: Regen Projects (6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Mexico City-based artist Abraham Cruzvillegas recycles and recontextualizes quotidian objects, transforming the detritus of everyday life into sculptures and installations that explore labor, place, and identity. For his second exhibition with Regen Projects, Autoconcanción, Cruzvillegas will mine his own personal history, creating works assembled from pieces of every car he has ever used combined with the flora of Southern California. In keeping with the show’s title — which translates to “car with a song” — each work will transmit a different local radio signal.

Childhood photo of Abraham Cruzvillegas (image courtesy the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles)

 Kenneth Anger Screening and Performance

When: Sunday, September 18, 7–9pm
Where: The Regent (448 S. Main Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Kenneth Anger is arguably the most important living American avant-garde filmmaker, who for seven decades has been unapologetically exploring controversial subjects, including the occult and homosexuality, producing several films while the latter was still illegal in the US. Pushing 90 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down. This Sunday, the Regent will be screening four of his classic filmsThe Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969), Scorpio Rising (1964), Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954), and Lucifer Rising (1972), followed by a performance from Technicolor Skull, Anger’s band with fellow devotee of the darkside, artist Brian Butler.

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he is a frequent contributor to Daily Serving, and Glasstire.